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Iran terror suspect gets defense post

August 21, 2009

iranministerOfficial wanted in connection with bloody Buenos Aires bombing gets nod from Ahmadinejad; Argentina Prosecutor: Nomination not surprising, Iran has always protected terrorists

Associated Press

Published: 08.21.09, 22:49

The man Iran’s president has named to be defense minister is wanted in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, and his nomination drew an outcry Friday from Argentina and Jewish groups.

Ahmad Vahidi, who commanded a unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard known as the Quds Force at the time of the attack, was nominated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday along with others named to fill Cabinet positions. The Quds Force is involved in operations abroad, including working with Hezbollah, which is accused to carrying out the Buenos Aires attack.

Argentina Prosecutor Alberto Nisman told The Associated Press Friday that Vahidi is accused of “being a key participant in the planning and of having made the decision to go ahead with the attack against the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association.”

Nisman has led the investigation into the July 18, 1994, bombing – Argentina’s bloodiest terrorist attack. The bomb exploded inside a van outside the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association, killing 85 people and wounding 200.

“It has been demonstrated that Vahidi participated in and approved of the decision to attack AMIA during a meeting in Iran on Aug. 14, 1993,” when he led the Quds Force, Nisman said.

He added that Vahidi was never in Argentina.

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